William Gibson meditates on whether authors are human:


Perhaps not, “author” in current usage tending to mean something like “massively mediated writer”. Your “author”, then, being by definition somewhat of an idoru-construct.

Writers, however, are human. All too, in most cases, as becomes immediately evident on reading even a few literary biographies.

I think I was very fortunate, as a child, to love SF. SF was such a marginalized literature, in those days, that its writers enjoyed (if that’s the word) very little mediation. There was not much mechanism in place to magnify and distort the image of the SF writer, so that by a very early age (thirteen or so, actually) I think I understood that “writers” were actually just other humans. Who somehow wrote, and were then published.

The exception to this, for me, for quite a while, was William Burroughs, a writer sufficiently ambivalent about being human that one could easily imagine he wasn’t.



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